I had a bit of a beetroot fest on the weekend, after buying a tray of uncooked beetroot.
I did roast beetroot to go with the roast chicken on Saturday, then added the leftover chicken to a thick stewy borscht and I made a rather complicated chocolate cake containing beetroot for added depth of colour and flavour. The borscht was good (which is just as well, as there is lots of it) but the cake was disappointing (although not because of the addition of beetroot).
The first thing I made though is a classic French winter salad – grated carrot and beetroot. I used Clotilde's recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, although, as is my usual habit, I replaced the mustard her recipe calls for with cumin, as cumin goes so fantastically well with carrots and beetroot (and mustard, frankly, does not).
This is one of the few recipes where I use a food processor to grate the vegetables. Chop the vegetables into large but evenly sized lengths, and put 2-3 pieces in the funnel at once. Keep the pressure on with the tamper, and with these hard dense types of vegetables, the fine grating blade produces just the right size and shape of shreds. To grate by hand results in too much liquid being released (some of it knuckle blood) and the shreds being flat and easy to crumble.
PS Eating beetroot does produce a side effect which can be rather alarming if you have not encountered it before. Put it this way – no, you do not have bowel cancer or some frightful disease of the urinary tract. Rather, the marvellously good for you anti-oxidant chemical (anthocyanin) which causes the beetroot to be such an amazingly deep rich red colour is very robust, and survives to colour all in its path on its journey through the human digestive system.